Why low calorie diets fail (and what you can do instead)

Common food refrigeration began in the 1750s.

This means that we’ve been able to have access to food on a regular basis for 0.07% of the existence of the “modern human” on this planet.

This also means that for 99.93% of the existence of the “modern human”, food was not available every day: men would go and hunt (or trap) animals, and often times they were unsuccessful.

When they were successful, they were able to provide fat and protein which fed their family or tribe for multiple days.

These humans often also tried to forage for plants and mushrooms. This was possible year-round in warm climates, but only occasionally in moderate and colder climates such as the Mediterranean and the Northern Hemisphere.

Also these humans “craved” carbohydrates and sugar: fruits and honey were such a rare treat that when they did find them, they would indulge and consume as much of them as possible. They knew that they may not be able to taste anything sweet again for months!

The reason I’m bringing up history is because the human body evolved (genetically) to “eat as much as possible” (consume as many calories as possible).

This is a “built-in” survival mechanism: food is not always available, so when you do find it, consume as much of it as you can!

This is a problem for today’s humans, where food is available on an app on your phone or by just taking 20 steps towards your kitchen.

This is also why “low calorie diets” fail all the time!

When you go on a low calorie diet (trying to eat less calories every day), you are going AGAINST your genetic code. Your body will get the message that food is not available in sufficient quantities. The result is that: you’ll be hungry all the time AND your body will activate built-in survival mechanisms:

  • lower metabolism,

  • store fat,

  • lower sex hormones (reproduction is not critical for survival),

  • lower muscle growth (strength is not critical for survival),

  • Activate hunger-inducting hormones (which increases cravings).

So if you do want to lose fat and keep it off, it behooves you to cut your calories in the manner your body has evolved over 400,000 years to do: eat abundantly on some days, and drastically cut calories on other days.

This mimics how humans lived for hundreds of thousands of years: one day you find food and eat to your satisfaction, and other days you eat almost nothing.

By eating enough calories on the “eat” days, your body will get the message that there is food available, no need to go into survival mode.

By cutting calories to almost 0 on “non eat” days, you drastically cut calories consumed over the course of the week, without triggering the survival mode.

How do you do that practically? Live like humans did for 400,000 years:

  • Option 1: do a 24 hour fast once or twice a week; or

  • Option 2: Eat only 1 meal once or twice a week; or

  • Option 3: Do a 48 or 72 hour fast once every 2 weeks

In fact, multiple studies have shown that these fasting protocols bring an array of additional health benefits, including:

  • Reversing Type II Diabetes

  • Dropping bodyfat

  • Restoring insulin sensitivity

  • Increase protein sensitivity (more muscle growth)

  • Boosting immune system strength

  • Reducing inflammation in the body

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